Multiple Brain Tumors Even More Malignant: Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with aggressive malignant brain tumors in multiple locations live a much shorter time than those with a single brain tumor, even though both groups of patients receive virtually identical treatments, according to a new study.

Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, Calif., compared the outcomes of 47 patients with multiple glioblastoma multiforme brain tumors and 47 patients with a single tumor. Average survival was six months for those with multiple tumors and 11 months for those with one tumor.

A large number of tumors in the patients with multiple tumors appeared to be resistant to treatment and continued to grow even after patients underwent radiation therapy, noted study first author Dr. Chirag Patil, director of the Center for Neurosurgical Outcomes Research at Cedars-Sinai.

The study was published Aug. 24 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

It is believed that cells of multiple tumors may have an increased ability to migrate in the brain and attack normal tissue, Patil said.

"A thorough investigation of the unique biology of these tumors and their invasive and migratory mechanisms is needed so we may develop a new generation of targeted therapies," Patil said in a medical center news release.

Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive malignant tumor that occurs in the brain, according to the news release. Patients typically survive 15 months when they receive standard treatments.

More information

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has more about glioblastoma multiforme.

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